One of the activities we do in our business coaching groups is to create the Value Proposition for a specific customer. As a way of explaining the concept we ask the participants to share their thoughts on why they chose to join our group. Cheeky, I know! It gives us free feedback while delivering a service. As they teasingly said – who is paying who here! The value of these insights to us has been enormous. It has re-enforced some of the beliefs we had about what we provide but, more importantly, it has given us new insights – and in our clients words. This is marketing gold dust.

I often urge clients to go out to their clients and find out what they value and what they want. Apart from the feedback it can be a great way of getting back in touch and reigniting conversations.

The challenge often is – what is the best way to do this?  Survey, mass email, individual phone calls, focus groups, review meeting or a social event – just a few ideas. There are 3 main considerations:

  1. What do want to achieve in asking for feedback?
  2. Which approach is most likely to give you the number and quality of responses you want?
  3. How will you handle the responses you get?

For example, if your business has a small number of high value clients then the more personal approach is likely to be best, especially if you plan to continue attracting similar clients. If your business sells to a high number of customers many times over and you want to understand how best to target them with a new product a survey with a ‘chance to win’ or ‘thank you’ mechanism will be more effective.

Other factors such as how simple it is for people to respond, how unambiguous the questions are and how you collate the data are important too. Whichever route you choose – keep it simple and make sure you do something valuable with the feedback.

In honour of the time and effort that our clients put into giving us feedback it seems only fair to share it with you!

What led you to join one of the Business Fit Club business building programmes?

I wanted to get out of the cycle of fire-fighting and dips and to get more structure so that I could actually have more flexibility. I recognised that I needed to change my mindset from being the Service Provider to being the MD –  IE ‘I run a business’.  To do this I wanted to understand the choices I have and recognised that I also needed support.

I needed to develop processes & systems – and to then start using them! I wanted a vision of the path my business was going to take. Basically, I needed to understand more about running a business and to know what questions to ask.

What had been your greatest challenges and fears before you started the

My greatest fear was lack of control over my business. My challenges were that I didn’t know where to start and what systems to have in place.

What did you get from the programme?

I felt more organised and in control. I felt supported both by the facilitator and by my peers and it meant that I felt confident enough to take decisions off-line. It created a commitment to look at my business each month, which I have continued to do. One of the clearest benefits was that it enabled me to talk about and present my proposition clearly – this was the ‘John Lewis’ effect for me!

What was important to you when making the decision to join the programme?

It was a combination of things: The length of the programme; whether I would be able to commit to the meeting time each month; the timing of the sessions fitting with other commitments; the small group size (there were 4 in my group) and whether what was promised was achievable – both by me and by Business Fit Club.

Helping SMEs – business owners, managers and their teams – to build resilient businesses with happy and engaged teams.  Find me at …

Leave a Reply